Classic Islanders Islanders

Seven years ago, legendary Islander Head Coach Al Arbour returned to the Nassau Coliseum to coach one final game for the Isles.

Then head coach Ted Nolan, now the bench boss in Buffalo, thought of the idea after noticing that Arbour was one game shy of coaching his 1,500th on Long Island. So Nolan and Owner Charles Wang invited Arbour back for one final game so that he could reach the milestone, but, as seen in the video below, Arbour was hesitant about coming back for one game.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LUwD6TMv1M]

Tags: al arbour, Classic Islanders, Islanders, new york islanders
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In ?Behind The Moves,? Jason Farris spoke with dozens of NHL GMs past and present about their experiences and stories from a life in hockey. Bill Torrey has quite a few features in the book, including this about his management philosophy from Leafs GM Brian Burke:

"Bill Torrey was the guy who just impressed me in everything he did. I liked the way the Islanders treated all their players respectfully. Even negotiations were polite. A lot of them weren't back then -- it was 'Fuck you and I'm not paying this guy.' He never swore. Instead, he would say politely, 'No, I'm not doing that. Here's why I can't do it and this is what this guy makes,' and he was just very professional. He would talk philosophy, and it was years later, when I was working with Pat Quinn, I said to him, 'You had such great teams, Bill. Give me your philosophy.' And that's when he said, 'You're going to play four rounds in the playoffs, and you need enough size to beat a big team and enough speed to beat a speed team. You're going to play a team that relies on puck recovery and special teams, so you need good special teams, and then you'll see another one of those types again.' I crystallized that philosophy a little further with the top-six/bottom-six, but he's the first one who stated a philosophy that made perfect sense to me."
And Torrey on himself:

"To me, you have to give the people you hire or work with a chance to be what they are... I was fortunate enough that I was, for one reason or another, given an opportunity to be the person that i am and to work in the manner in which I work. I believe that you can't constantly be looking over everybody's shoulder, otherwise I don't think they function. It's like a player; if a coach is on a player's ass all the time, then he's not going to be able to play."
Later on Torrey goes a bit further, mentioning his time in Oakland where he spent a few years before joining the Islanders in 1972:

Tags: behind the moves, bill torrey, brian burke, Classic Islanders, new york islanders, NHL
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